Recap: Heat 82, Cavaliers 76

Posted Jul 20, 2013 6:23 PM

The Miami Heat advanced to the semifinals of the NBA Summer League 2013 Championship behind their coast-to-coast 82-76 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon from UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center. Miami's Jarvis Varnado put his squad up for good -- 1-0 -- off a successful free throw attempt merely 18 seconds into the quarterfinal contest.

With the win, the 18th-seeded Heat (4-2) kept their Cinderella run alive to advance to the round of four, and they will play Saturday's winner of the third-seeded Phoenix Suns and sixth-seeded Toronto Raptors on Sunday at 3:00 pm.

Miami was led by double-doubles from Varnado (13 points and 12 rebounds) and Damion James (12 and 10). Three other Heat players amassed double digits in points with D.J. Kennedy and James Nunnally both scoring 13, while James Ennis registered 12.

Cleveland, playing without the services of Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller, with the loss, ends its run in the summer series with a 3-2 overall record.

Miami opened the affair scoring four straight and eight of the first 11 points before Cleveland's offense pulled within one point -- 8-7 -- after a layup from Carrick Felix and two free throws from Jermaine Taylor. Unfortunately, that was the closest the Cavaliers would get the remainder of the contest.

The Heat quickly answered back with an 11-2 run that pushed the lead to double digits with 2:20 left in the first quarter. The outburst was initiated by a 5-0 spurt and concluded with six straight points after a jumper by Cleveland's Kenny Kadji.

The Cavaliers rattled off a 6-2 run in a span of 3:08 that covered the end of the first period and the start of the second to pull within three.

Miami responded with eight straight to put a comfortable distance between the two squads from that point forward.

The Heat led by as many as 15 on three occasions and had a double-digit lead for the majority of the second half.

Cleveland's Justin Harper led all scorers with 21 points, while Taylor followed closely behind with 20 tallies. Cory Higgins chipped in 17 more to give the Cavaliers three in double figures.